It is always nice to have a second pair of eyes on the road. Watching your every move and able to recount the days ride. Since we don't have the luxury of a team car following us Australian company Cycliq (pronounced cy click) created a unique combination of a cycling light and rear view camera in the Fly6. The light gets strapped to the rear of your bike, preferably the seat post turn on, go for your ride and then shut if when you get home. Very simple and I believe that's the whole point. While the camera is not as fancy as the GoPro or the light as bright as others, this something that isn't really meant to be viewed after an intense downhill session, edited and submitted to Cannes Film Festival. Although it probably could.
Think of this device as those second pair of eyes. An insurance policy if you will. The kind you hope to never really use in cases of incident but glad that it is there, recording anything that happens on the ride. There have been times on my own rides I wish I had a device as simple to use as this both in races as well as on the road training. In a world where cyclist and driver are more at odds with each other and there is less real estate on the roads, this camera is a true impartial judge. Yes. It can read license plates on cars that attempt to get a little too close and it also can tell when you were a little too impatient for that stoplight to turn green.
The camera brings you 720p of HD video. That combined with a 30 lumen light and 6 hours of battery life is plenty to take you on some of your more demanding rides. I've never run out of battery life and the video playback is great. You can either take out the SD card or plug it straight in mac via micro USB cable. The memory card is a an 8 gig class but if you can put up to 32 gigs on a single card in the Fly6. It even comes with a larger micro SD card adapter so you can better stick in your computer.
The viewing angle itself is pretty wide at 100 degrees so while it records that person being a wheel sucker, it can see rear view traffic in the road. What's also cool is that it features the date and time if you need it for later reference and for the non SoCal folk living in less than desirable weather, it is water resistant but I wouldn't recommend sinking it in your bathtub or pool. There is a lot of technology packed into this device and at 127 grams or 4.5 ounces, you won't even know that it's there. It's only 3.4 inches or 87mm so you can still fit a seat bag under your post and there is plenty of room to spare.
What's really ingenious is if you lay your bike more than 60 degrees for more than 5 seconds, the Fly6 an alarm will sound with three beeps and then record for an additional hour and then power down with another three beeps. Perfect for those dire situations but be careful when laying or leaning your bike down. It's easy to forget that the camera is there. Especially if you keep it on your bike all the time.
The camera or light or "camlight" comes in a cleverly orange box. The packaging includes the camera and velcro strap. A box inside the box has the SD card adapter, necessary cable, extra strap as well as adapters for folks that have aero seat posts. It also has an instruction manual but is very easy to use with only two buttons and audio beeps to go off of.
The light itself has multiple settings where it has the strobe light and three led lights plus a charging light when it's plugged in. You can dim the lights with the courtesy dimmer button for those daylight hours. Also Cycliq recommends not staring directly into the light so as to preserve your eyesight or your friends eyesight if they are drafting off of you. To scroll through the light features, just quick press the power button to find out what you like best.
I'm one of those people that like to leave my powered devices topped up and ready to go. For those not as obsessive as I am, whenever you want to turn it on, it will give a number of beeps relative to it's battery life. 4 beeps will indicate more than 75% charge, 3 is 50-74%, 2 is 25-49% and 1 is less that which means time to plug it in so don't go out on any epic long rides with it. If it gives you 3 long beeps it's down to less than 5%. Think of it like your cars low fuel warning and recharge immediately.
It's hard to imagine a life without this type of device. I'll never ride without it. For those of you wanting even more coverage Cycliq makes a front camera as well called the Fly12 which mounts under or over the handlebars. More on that in perhaps a future gear guide. As a mac owner I did run into some software compatibility issues when it came to playing back the footage. Perhaps for windows users it's more of a seamless interface. I'm sure with a quick software update on either the camera's end or my end would solve the problem. My quicktime app did not seem to do the trick at first attempt. However it is fixed now once I reached out to Cycliq.
The great thing is, I'm giving one of these away in our next contest! Go to Instagram for contest rules and good luck to every participant.
• Creative Design and Invaluable Product
• Easy to use and handy for everyday riding
• Peace of mind in next level safety gear
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• Video playback tough for mac users
• Camera not as high end as other competitors